If you are anything like me, you want to be confident when you make a decision. Also, if you are anything like me, you have some difficulty making sure that you are making the “right decision.” So, what does this look like for a believer? That question is a complicated one, but I want to pass along two things I have heard that have helped me as I try and figure this out.
One thing that has been very comforting for me is changing my perception of God’s will. The way I commonly hear people describe God’s will is a sort of tightrope-maze type thing where you need to navigate your way through, hoping you don’t take a wrong step and mess it all up. You may have heard something similar. I believe people present this type of idea with good intentions – they don’t want to minimize God’s role in people’s lives. However this view seems to minimize the decision making component that God has given humans.
So what is another perspective of God’s will? I really believe that God is much more concerned with where your focus is, and less on the individual decisions you make. What does that mean? Basically, it means you can pick you cereal in the morning without worrying if you are throwing something off. You can pick this college or that college. It’s ok. The answer isn’t in the decision, it’s in how you make the decision. God’s will for decision making is that He is included at the center of it. Too often when I make decisions, I think through whatever it may be and make a decision, and then pray and ask God if it will work. What needs to happen instead, however, is I need to be praying and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide throughout the process – that is how I stay in step with Him.
The second piece of advice is something that I have heard more recently, and that advice is in regards to the signs that we so frequently want when we are making decisions. I know there have been times in my life where all I wanted is for a neon sign to drop out of the sky and for God to show me what to do – but that doesn’t happen nearly as often as we would want. Why? I think one of the main reasons is because God wants us to trust Him, and He wants to be involved in the process.
I think another major reason is because He is giving us signs, just not neon flashing ones. The signs God gives more often, I believe, are shaped more like traffic lights. One of my high school teachers had a sign on her wall that said “You can’t steer a parked car” and that is basically what this is about. God wants us to trust Him, and He gives us instructions of whether to continue in a direction, slow down, or stop and turn around. This can be difficult because we want control and want to see the big picture – that’s not how Christ works.
I know in the past I have written about decision making, but as the summer season begins there is a lot of transitioning going on – myself included. There are a lot of decisions to be made, and having a proper understanding of how God operates can help us make them more effectively.